Hey, another quick update on our resident red tail boa. She is continuing to eat (yay).
Now, with the corn snakes that are here, you dangle the food in front of them, they strike at it, and within a minute or two, the mouse is gone. With the red tail, she strikes, coils around it... and 30 minutes later, is still coiled around it.
So, the last time I fed her, I came back to her enclosure several times after she'd taken the rat, and she was still coiled around it. The final time, her head wasn't even anywhere near the rat, so I figured she'd decided she wasn't going to eat. I was going to pull the rat out of there and feed it to one of the corn snakes.
So, I got my tongs, and I went to go grab the rat, and turns out, she had a death grip on the thing. At the time, I just figured I'd leave her with it, and see what happened.
She did end up eating it.
Looking back (this is like the ah ha! moment)... remember, she was fed live rats. We feed frozen / thawed. For f/t rats, there's no need to constrict them, they're already dead, just warmed up. For a live rat, those suckers fight back (which is why you don't feed live, btw), so a snake would need to constrict the prey to death (literally) before the snake could eat it. The corn snakes, which have never been fed live, start to eat the mouse before it hits the ground, but the red tail (which actually is a constrictor... the corn snakes are not) feels she needs to kill the prey first, hence constricting and holding the prey for some time, before eating it.
And that's your lesson on different snakes eating different types of prey differently. Say that 5 times fast.